The Covid-19 pandemic and the Life Esidimeni tragedy have highlighted the fact that the Gauteng department of health is still grappling with how to effectively provide efficient mental healthcare services.
Recent figures show that in Gauteng alone, the suicide rate has increased by 90% at the end of 2021. This is simply heartbreaking.
The department has a responsibility to ensure that people with mental health issues under their care access much-needed health care services. The NGOs and NPOs that are taking care of the mentally ill people must adhere to the standard health regulations and the department must always fulfil its oversight role.
It is high time that the health department in this province prioritises mentally ill patients with more awareness campaigns being run by it.
Nicola du Plessis, DA Gauteng spokesperson for health